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Three Steps to Sexy Skin

I might be a creep, but I love routine. It helps me get everything I need done during the day and helps me from getting overwhelmed. When it comes to skin care, this is no exception. I stick to a strict skin care routine to make sure I don’t let things slack and I don’t damage my skin.

But don’t take it from me. The lovely Celeste is back to talk about three keys to a strong skin care routine.

A skin care routine is similar to an exercise routine. Lifting a weight once won’t create muscle definition; wearing sunscreen only when on vacation is not the path to achieving a clear, healthy complexion. Lifestyle changes take time and commitment. When creating a routine, it’s just as important to know what not to do as it is to know what to do. Here are three things to avoid when you set out to live a healthy skin lifestyle:

  1. Inconsistency. Consistency is key for addressing skin concerns and maintaining a healthy skin routine. Again, you are unlikely to see any results by using products just once or twice. If it takes you six months to use a bottle that is intended to be used in two, you are not benefiting from the active ingredients in the product. Once you find what works for you, stick with it!
  2. Not cleansing before bed. Imagine not brushing your teeth at the end of the day and that is what it’s like to skip a nightly skin care routine. Even if you don’t wear make-up, you still need to cleanse. Sweat, oil and dirt sit on your skin all day. By skipping your nightly routine, you allow your skin to absorb pollutants. You also need an evening skin care routine to address any concerns and/or maintain your current skin health. Before going to bed, use resurfacing ingredients such as AHAs and retinols, in addition to restorative peptides. Tip: Make-up wipes cannot replace a complete cleanse, they are best used to remove heavy make-up before cleansing.
  3. Overdoing it. I’ll say it again, it is crucial to maintain a consistent, thorough, skin care routine twice a day. However, as the saying goes, “Too much of a good thing is too much.” If you are repeating your routine more than twice daily, it is too much. By over-cleansing/toning/astringing, you are stripping your skin of healthy oils and causing it to produce extra oil. Oil production can be balanced with a healthy and consistent skin care routine. If you are using your prescription skin care products more than as directed, it’s too much. You will not see results faster by doubling up on your topical (or ingested) prescription. This applies to acne, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, freckling, etc. Prescription skin care products are prescribed for a reason and can have serious and damaging effects if used incorrectly.

For more do’s and don’ts, I urge you to talk with a Skin Coach. We’ve made it super simple to connect with a Skin Coach through the new app – My Skin Authority. It’s the first interactive lifestyle app that connects people with a live esthetics expert for coaching and guidance. My Skin Authority is a free download at the Apple App Store and on Google play.

And while you’re at it, check out the rest of Celeste’s skin care advice from this year: skin care resolutions, the skin care basics, face oils for acne-prone skin, skin care for eyesdifferences between men’s and women’s skin care and the deal with Vitamin C serums.

What does your daily skin care routine look like?

About the author: With two decades in the beauty and skin care industries, Celeste Hilling is the Founder, CEO and Product Formulator for Skin Authority. Skin Authority is respected for developing pure and powerful products without the use of parabens, added fragrance, dyes or animal testing. More on www.skinauthority.com, Facebook at Skin Authority, Twitter @SkinAuthority and @MissSkin.

BurtsBees

Latest and Greatest from Burt’s Bees

Oh happy day! Burt’s Bees has introduced new collections that will have you buzzing.

Burt's Bees

You know that old standby Burt’s Bees Beeswax chapstick you have tucked away in your purse? Burt’s Bees Squeezable Beeswax Lip Balm, ($3.99) is exactly like the original- only softer, smoother, and squeezable! I love how it gives just a little shine that the chapstick doesn’t provide, and the peppermint flavor leaves that signature tingle behind.

Burt's Bees

Burt’s has also come out with a collection of Sheer Body Lotions ($10). They are formulated with Safflower Oil Oleosomes, which have been clinically shown to moisturize skin instantly and leave it feeling soft and smooth. For those of you who have read my previous posts, I am a sucker for anything in a spray bottle! I had lots of fun spraying this lotion on my arms and legs…it’s the little things in life, I suppose.

Burt's Bees

Next, I’m dying to try Burt’s Bees Renewal Collection. This face care line helps reduce the look of lines and wrinkles while firming skin to appear smoother and more hydrated. And with white hibiscus and apple rejuvenating complex, I am sure it smells divine.

Find Burt’s Bees newest collections and www.burtsbees.com, and let us know what you think of them in the comments below!

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

 

mastey-cover

Mastey- Say Yes to Eco-Friendly Hair Care

As a beauty blogger, I have been dying to try using more eco-friendly products on my face, skin, and hair. Let’s be honest- I am not getting any younger, and I will try anything that doesn’t have harsh chemicals or additives that will aid in the aging process! Mastey has a whole line of eco-friendly hair care products, and I had the chance to try out their Color Protecting Shampoo and Conditioner.

mastey

I have fast growing hair, and before I know it, it reaches halfway down my back. Having a good shampoo and conditioner is very important to me. Mastey’s hair products are 100% vegan, rich in antioxidants, and are formulated with argan oil and olive oil. Best of all, they contain no ammonia, sodium chloride, parabens, synthetic dyes, and no PPD (more information on the negative effects of PPD is here).

I LOVED the pearlescent shine the shampoo had when I squeezed it into my hand.

Behold the shimmery beauty:

mastey mastey

Although the shampoo was nice, I really fell in love with the conditioner. You know when you go to the salon, and they use shampoos and conditioners that smell way better than anything you can ever buy in the store, and you’re like “what is this heavenly scent and why can’t I find it anywhere?” That is Mastey’s Color Protecting Conditioner. True story.

Interested in giving your over treated locks a break? Head over to www.mastey.com, and check out their whole line of haircare products. I will definitely be passing this on to my health conscious vegan friends!

Have you tried Mastey shampoo and conditioner before?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

june favorites

May and June Favorites 2015

Things have been a bit crazy lately with all the travel for my “real” job, so May slipped through my fingers before I could find the time to write up a favorites post. And considering I’m about to depart on yet another trip (an actual vacation this time) for the next two trips, I won’t have time to do a June favorites before July rolls around. The solution here? A really late May favorites and an early June favorites all rolled in to one. Woop, woop!

Being on the go for the past few months has meant that my makeup routine has been trimmed down. I don’t feel the need to overload my carry-on with excess palettes or break the TSA 3-1-1 rule with multiple liquid foundations.

And when I have been home, I’ve been prepping for vacation with sunless tanner, bright polish  and burn-free skin. And now that I’ve rambled for long enough, let’s get to the main event … my current beauty faves.

june favorites

Smashbox Photo Filter Powder Foundation | Benefit Roller Lash | Michael Kors Gold

Skin Authority Sunless Tanner | IT Cosmetics Brow Power

Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy in Vegas, Baby | Aveeno Sunscreen

What beauty products are you loving lately?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

sunbumcover

Time to Become a Sun Bum

Warm weather has arrived, and if you’re anything like me, sun, sand, and beaches are in your future! Sun Bum has a whole beauty line geared toward the dog days of summer, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them.

First up- Sun Bum Beach Formula Sea Spray ($14.99 at Ulta)

Sun Bum

What’s not to love about sea spray in a squirt bottle? While protecting hair from the elements, it gives hair extra body, waves, and texture for that “I just spent the day at the beach” look. When it comes to my hair, I am not always fond of a matte-finish, because it can tend to look a bit “witchy” due to the length. This Beach Formula Sea Spray definitely has a matte-finish hold, but I liked how it brought out my highlights and didn’t make my hair look too scraggly.

I sprayed it on towel-dried hair and gave it a good scrunch or two before letting it air dry. The spray itself was lightweight and created the strand separation and definition it claimed it would. I absolutely loved how purposely messy my beach waves looked, and I think they looked even better after sleeping on them.Sun Bum Sun Bum

In addition to the Sea Spray, I scored a few of Sun Bum’s Sunscreen Lip Balms ($3.99) in Mango, Coconut, and my personal fave Key Lime. Not only are they SPF 30, but they also contain aloe and vitamin E- a perfect combination to keep lips protected during sunny days. I have one stashed in each purse!

sun bum

Check out more Sun Bum products at trustthebum.com or head to Ulta.com to experience them for yourself!

Have you tried out Sun Bum products before?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

vitamin c serums

What’s so Super about Vitamin C Serums?

When I hear “Vitamin C” I think of citrus fruits and the inspirational “Graduation” song. Who doesn’t just shed a few tears while listening to this ballad? Oh yea, and I also think about skin care. What kind of beauty blogger would I be if I didn’t?

I feel like everyone and their mothers with fabulous skin is toting the benefits of vitamin C serums, and I was dying to learn more. So naturally, I turned to the lovely Celeste of Skin Authority who never steers me wrong.

Are you getting enough C? Vitamin C is one of the most vital nutrients. The benefits include those you are likely to have heard, including boosting immunity and overall health, but you may not know that C is super for skin. In fact, vitamin C serums should be a basic part of any skin care routine.

Many people take vitamin C orally to boost immunity. That is smart, but less than 1% of the vitamins we ingest actually make their way to our skin. The skin needs C as well, so it is very important to apply it topically.

Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping for and using a vitamin C Serum:

  1. Look for a vitamin C that is paired with an antioxidant blend. Vitamin C boosts the effectiveness of your sunscreen, and when it is combined with a powerful antioxidant mixture, it is very effective in protecting the skin from free radicals. I urge you to apply C daily underneath your sunscreen moisturizer.
  2. Vitamin C Serums should contain a minimum of 20% L-ascorbic acid. L-ascorbic acid is a co-factor in collagen production; without this element, the body cannot create collagen for firmer and stronger skin. The minimum amount of L-ascorbic acid necessary for collagen production is 20%, so don’t buy a vitamin C serum it if contains less than that amount. My favorite: Skin Authority Super-C Serum.
  3. Vitamin C Serums are very active products and should be used within the recommended amount of time. Just like an apple oxidizes over time as it is exposed to air, vitamin C Serums also oxidize. If your serum turns a dark brown color, it is time to throw it out. The shelf life of a vitamin C Serum is typically about four months after opening, but shorter if left exposed to the air and heat for long periods of time. If you keep the container closed and store in the refrigerator, it can last a bit longer.

And while you’re at it, check out the rest of Celeste’s skin care advice from this year: skin care resolutions, the skin care basics, face oils for acne-prone skin, skin care for eyes, differences between men’s and women’s skin care.

Do you incorporate vitamin C serums into your skin care routine?

About the author: With two decades in the beauty and skin care industries, Celeste Hilling is the Founder, CEO and Product Formulator for Skin Authority. Skin Authority is respected for developing pure and powerful products without the use of parabens, added fragrance, dyes or animal testing. More on www.skinauthority.com, Facebook at Skin Authority, Twitter @SkinAuthority and @MissSkin.

june empties

June Empties 2015

This is titled “June Empties,” but I took these photos in May … so do with that what you will. Just like in my last empties post, most of these are hair and skin care products. Apparently I haven’t been smothering my face in enough makeup this year. Woopsies.

Anywho, let’s take a gander of the products I’ve used up since March and discuss whether or not I’ll be repurchasing.

june empties

Dove Daily Moisture Conditioner – Dove has been my favorite drugstore shampoo/conditioner for a while now. It leaves my hair feeling healthy and shiny smooth. It never weighs down my tresses while still keeping them soft and luxurious. Repurchase? Already did.

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash – Aveeno is my go-to brand for body lotion. It seriously rocks my world, and now so does their body wash. It’s super affordable and leaves you feeling oh-so-touchable. Repurchase? Already did.

Meg 21 Moisturizing Toner – I loved that this toner contained Witch Hazel. Something about the smell and the way it feels on my skin is just lovely. Plus, I could feel this toner fighting any spots that would creep up on my skin. I didn’t repurchase yet cause I had another toner to use up, and that makes me sad.  Repurchase? When I run out of my other toner.

Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil – This stuff is my jam. I have been using it since March of 2014. It’s ultra moisturizing and I just love the scent. It’s perfect to apply before bed but also light enough on your skin for morning too. Moral of the story – I use it ALL. THE. TIME.  Repurchase? Already did.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer – I mean, what could I say about this that hasn’t already been said? It’s my staple concealer – perfect for any and all events/makeup needs and doesn’t cake in my under-eye lines.  Repurchase? Already did.

Sephora Triple Action Cleansing Water – This cleansing water is an amazing dupe for Bioderma. I use it every night before washing my face, and it is a boss at removing all my makeup. Yes, even eye makeup. It goes with me everywhere … even to the airport bathroom when I obsessively remove makeup before my flights.  Repurchase? Already did.

What goodies have you used up lately?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclaimer

beauty haul

Recent Beauty Haul: Ulta, Sephora and Nordstrom

As you know, I’ve been traveling a lot for my “real” job lately. I was in Montreal and Chicago most recently, and I’m in Santa Clara as I write this. And somehow, I always seem to find the nearest beauty counter with what little downtime I have on these trips. It’s like the Sephoras and Ultas of the world just call to me. Or I just have an obsession. However you want to look at it.

But why I always seem to end up in beauty stores is neither here nor there. What’s really important is the goodies I scoop up while I’m there. I’ve trying to restrain my shopping habits lately as I save for a two-week European vacation this Summer, but sometimes I slip. Woopsies. The only way I convince myself my spending isn’t insane is by only buying things I “need” … like the beauties below.

beauty haul

Belif toner | Sephora lip pencil | Dior foundation | Biosilk serum | Smashbox primer Kérastase Oleo Curl | Stila eyeliner | Smashbox lip pencil in “Figgy” | Nars concealer

What beauty goodies have you picked up lately?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

Chicago

My So-called Beautiful Life: Chicago

Lovelies, we need to talk about Chicago. I visited for the first time earlier in the month for personal/work and I L-O-V-E-D this gorgeous midwestern city. I was going for work during the week, so my boyfriend decided to join me the weekend before for a fun getaway/birthday celebration. Plus, we got to spend all weekend with one of my dearest friends, which was just the icing on the cake!

We packed a lot into the weekend and it was well worth it. To start out – we knocked out all of the major tourist attractions. We did Willis Tower, an architectural boat tour, Navy Pier and Millennium Park. All of them were super cliche, but I would redo all of them in a heartbeat!

Chicago

Chicago

Chicago

Chicago

Chicago

Chicago

But we didn’t just stick to the well-known spots. Having a best friend in the city meant that we also got to live like locals. We laughed the night away at The Improvised Shakespeare Company, explored the Gold Coast and hung with the hippest of cool cats in Wicker Park.

Chicago

Chicago

Chicago

And of course, we ate our little hearts out. Everything was mighty tasty, but some of my favorites were Chicago Q, Miss Ricky’s, RPM Italian, The Gage, Girl and The Goat and Big Star. And if those restaurants were any indication – there are so many other local gems left to unearth. Obviously I need to go again!

Chicago

Chicago

Chicago

IMG_3376I can’t say enough wonderful things about Chicago. I had an amazing time and want to go back as soon as possible. It’s even been added to my “I’d move there” list. Who knows where the wind will take me!

Have you been to Chicago before? What is your favorite part of the city?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure   

tunic

Tunic Tales

There is something so easy about a cute tunic. It’s cozy and comfortable, but can easily be dressed up with heels and a few pretty accessories. My fabulous sister-in-law just happens to own an adorable online boutique – Mon Bon’s Boutique – and I snatched up this adorable tunic a few weeks ago. Since then, I’ve worn it at least once a week. Sometimes multiple days in a row. Woops? I just can’t stop wearing it!

tunic

tunic

tunic

Tunic Mon Bon’s Boutique | Jeans Free People (similar)

Heels Franco Sparto (similar) | Scarf Mirana Bennett (similar)

What is your favorite way to style a tunic?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure